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Activist palms ICC proof he says implicates Belarus president in switch of Ukrainian kids

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An exiled Belarus activist on Tuesday introduced a second file of proof to the Worldwide Legal Court docket that he stated proves the private involvement of President Alexander Lukashenko within the unlawful switch of kids to Belarus from Russian-occupied cities in Ukraine.

Pavel Latushka, a former Belarusian tradition minister, stated among the new data got here from “insiders” in Belarus.

“We share further proof proving Lukashenko’s direct participation within the illegal deportation of Ukrainian kids to Belarus as chief of the so-called Union State of Belarus and Russia,” Latushka informed The Related Press exterior the court docket’s headquarters in The Hague.

The file additionally consists of “proof and beforehand unknown information concerning the involvement of varied Belarusian and Russian organizations, in addition to their leaders and members, within the illegal deportation of Ukrainian kids to Belarus,” he stated, and provides extra detailed data on a “re-education program for Ukrainian kids” at a state-run camp that goals to “change the mentality of the youngsters in Russian world narratives.”

Latushka stated the data additionally consists of private particulars of 37 Ukrainian kids he stated have been illegally transferred from Ukraine to Belarus.

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The overseas affairs ministry in Belarus didn’t remark Tuesday.

In June, Latushka delivered data to the court docket he stated indicated that greater than 2,100 Ukrainian kids from not less than 15 Russia-occupied Ukrainian cities had been forcibly taken to Belarus with Lukashenko’s approval.

In June, Lukashenko rejected Latushka’s accusations as “insanity,” arguing that Belarus has briefly hosted the youngsters to assist them get better from the warfare’s trauma.

The ICC has an investigation into crimes dedicated in Ukraine.

In March, the court docket issued warrants for each Putin and his commissioner for kids’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. Judges in The Hague stated they discovered “affordable grounds to imagine” that the 2 have been accountable for the warfare crimes of illegal deportation of kids and illegal switch of kids from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia. Moscow has rejected the allegations.

Latushka was compelled to depart Belarus beneath strain from Belarusian authorities following Lukashenko’s reelection in a 2020 vote that the opposition and the West denounced as rigged. He now lives in Poland.

Any group or particular person can ship proof of alleged crimes to the ICC. Prosecutors assess submissions to “establish those who seem to fall throughout the jurisdiction of the Court docket and warrant additional motion,” the court docket says on its web site. In the event that they do, they might be investigated or fed into an ongoing investigation.


Related Press author Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed.


Comply with AP’s protection of the warfare in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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